I still have vintage on my mind these days. I’m still trying to get lots of wear out of my vintage brooches, still pinning them onto my sweaters and blazers before I have to cover them up with a winter coat. Still mentally drooling over all the lovely frocks and coats I saw at the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show two weeks ago. Fifties style dresses seemed to be big this year. See.

Assorted fifties dresses from Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show
Assorted fifties frocks at the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show
Doesn’t that white dress, above, look a bit like the one Marilyn Monroe wore in Seven Year Itch? And even more like the one Elizabeth Taylor wore in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? I love Taylor’s movies, especially that one. Because…uh… Paul Newman. But also because I love Tennessee Williams’ plays, deeply depressing though they may be. And seriously, no one could rock a white dress better than Liz Taylor. Not even Marilyn.
High Heels in the Wilderness: Further Adventures in Vintage
But the Vintage Clothing Show was about more than dresses. I saw lots of interesting little jackets that could turn a simple pair of black cropped pants into a fab party outfit. And there was even an Hermès booth this year that would have had my friend Barbara shedding some cash. She is an Hermès scarf aficionado. This blue one was lovely, if a bit too pricey for me. And of course there were piles and piles of jewellry to be sifted through.
Vintage jackets, Hermes scarf and assorted jewellry, Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show
Two jackets, one fab scarf, and assorted jewellry at Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show

I snagged myself a bracelet for ten bucks at a booth that was having a “Going Out of Vintage” sale. That was a find for me; I’m a hard fit. My wrists are really thin, and most bracelets simply fall off me unless I keep my arm bent. Maybe I should take up smoking again? I bet Lauren Bacall never had any problem keeping her bracelet on when she was holding her cigarette. Still there is the whole health thing, and the anti-social thing. And it will be thirty-one years next week since I quit. So… nah. Forget I said that.

High Heels in the Wilderness: Further Adventures in Vintage

There were all kinds of accessories at the show, other than scarves and bracelets. Like some seriously cool sunglasses from the sixties and seventies. Okay, I will admit they looked kind of dorky on me. But still, it was fun to try them on, snap a picture, replace them, and then walk away… quickly.

assorted sunglasses at Ottawa Vintage Clothing Sale
Just messing around with my new ap on my i-pad. Trying to up the cool factor.

But the best thing about the Vintage Clothing Show for me is always the hats. I’m crazy for vintage hats. I already own several. Some are quite dressy, one might even say a bit showy. Some are more casual like my brown beret from the forties, below. I love my beret. Especially the Bakelite brooch that came pinned to it. At under ten bucks, this was a find, considering what one has to pay for Bakelite jewellry these days. When the hat falls apart, I’ll remove the brooch and wear it on its own.

Vintage 1940s beret with Bakelite pin, Gap turtleneck, Holt Renfrew scarf
My brown beret with the Bakelite brooch, Holt Renfrew scarf and Gap sweater.

And this year, I managed to snap up another great hat for my collection. See. It’s an odd little thing, really. It has a puffy brim, and pears and leaves appliqued onto the crown and covered in netting. And a sweet little brown feather.

vintage hat
My newly acquired odd little 50’s beanie.

It’s part 1950s’ beanie.

High Heels in the Wilderness: Further Adventures in Vintage

Part Elizabethan boy’s costume. Like you might see Tybalt or Mercutio wear in Romeo and Juliet. Seriously. Have a look at this shot from Franco Zefferelli’s 1968 film … which you have to admit is the definitive R & J movie.

High Heels in the Wilderness: Further Adventures in Vintage

But no matter that I look like I might break out into sword-play… I love my new hat. And it goes perfectly with my green tweed blazer and this really old green silk scarf, that I’ve had since university. Making it vintage as well… sadly.

Max Mara tweed blazer, vintage silk scarf, vintage hat

After last week’s post… that’s me done paying homage to vintage for a while. And hat satiated… for now, anyway. I do admit to being very well hatted, when it comes to vintage. Maybe a bit too well hatted. Maybe I had better start finding places and events where I might wear some of my hats.

Any ideas? High tea with the Governor General’s wife? A winter wedding in old Quebec City? Roller skating? I need some help here, people. Where does one wear vintage headgear these days? I mean besides the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show, that is?


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39 thoughts on “Further Adventures in Vintage… or… Well Hatted”

  1. The Vintage Clothing Show sounds like fun! I've never really seriously explored vintage clothes and accessories – one day! I know there is a wonderful vintage world out there…

    What a great hat! Looks great on you!

  2. Anywhere, that's where. Hats complete an outfit and that green Oneis very sweet. In the 60's it was my company's policy to always wear a hat when visiting our customers and I hated it. It was the 60's after all and hats and mini skirts didn't go together. Wear it proudly before the snow comes and you have to hunker down under a woolly one!

  3. I love vintage, including myself. 😉

    As a side note, what would you estimate as your cost per wear for your green silk scarf? Is Canadian money even minted in what must surely be such a small amount? Perhaps the scarf now pays YOU to wear it?


    1. Good point… I'm sure that scarf owes me money. Since I bought it when I was a student, I know I didn't pay much for it. I've just always loved the mix of colours in it.

  4. I love vintage stuff but try restrain myself from fairs now , there's a limit to how much stuff one normal house can hold . Even too many brooches can become bewildering . My best bargain was an immaculate brown herringbone tweed coat bought in Scotland for £30 a couple of years ago . It's difficult to find such seriously good fabric now & it didn't need any alterations either , even the arms – always a problem for me . Your pics reminded me of my mums posh frocks when I was little . You have a good hat face & I think you should wear them for afternoon tea in some grand hotel in Ottawa – they would feel at home there
    Wendy in York

    1. That herringbone coat sounds like a real find. I'm very picky about buying now, as well. We live in a small house and one CAN easily accumulate too much stuff. Even brooches.

  5. If it's one thing that all you fashionistas at Visible Monday are teaching me, is that vintage shopping is not only economical, but full of fun and original clothing. I intend as a 2016 resolution, to explore this avenue with GUSTO. I adore that green hat with the pears that you found and you look lovely in it.

  6. I love that expression "you have a good hat face" and it's true, your face does look like it's made for a hat. Lucky you, I have a long beaky face when I put a hat on – I shall blame my father for that. Just found you today through Patti (yes, you probably weren't lost, I know). Anyway, I'm an over 50's blogger too and have only run my blog for 6 months so am still finding my feet. You have a lovely friendly face, so thought I'd stop to say hello. You live in a very beautiful part of the world. I'm a Scot living in England. Do pop across to see me and say hello if you want to.
    Anna's Island Style

    1. Thanks, Anna. Although my round face looks very silly in a cloche or something that is supposed to look dramatic. I will definitely pop over to see you on your blog:)

  7. Elizabeth Taylor could rock anything in my book. There is this wonderful old film from the 1950s (I think) in which she's in love with Vittorio Gassman. The wardrobe in that film is absolutely extraordinary. I watched it not too long ago on my iPad and screen captured some of her outfits to revisit, just because they were so amazing. So let's hear it for these vintage looks… and I love the hats on you!!!

  8. Oh to look as wonderful as Elizabeth Taylor in that white dress! I really like your vintage hats …you look very stylish in them both. I've always thought the photograph of you on the top right of your blog is a lovely one. That hat is just perfect on you! I'm not really a hat person. Probably due to finding that very few actually fit me!! Either large head …thick curly hair or both!! 🙂 However since we started to visit Switzerland each winter I've become a lover of woolly hats! I actually think I suit them more than more stylish ones 🙂

    1. Thanks, Rosie. I never saw myself as a hat person until I started trying vintage ones. Big brimmed sun hats, or cloches look absolutely ridiculous on me. With my big head & round face …can't pull off the Sophia Lauren, Audrey Hepburn hat look at all! Hey… don't knock it… woolly hats are very on trend!

    2. Pleased they are on trend, as now there's so much choice available and I can pretty much wear them, along with berets all Winter. As I mentioned I really do love the ones I have and actually they do now look quite stylish, as well as stopping my hair getting all damp and frizzy!!

  9. I too have a love of vintage costume jewelry. My wrists are very small, and older pieces usually fit better. (Perhaps people really were smaller then. Smile) Your hat is chic indeed. Put it on and wear it often before the snow flies! Tea at the Chateau Laurier perhaps?

    It's these personal touches in a wardrobe which transform clothing from mere fashion into style. And it's such fun to see it in action,


  10. You are rocking that hat – it looks great. I am now feeling inspired to explore more vintage shops (we have a couple in our town that I've never ventured into). My husband has bought me a vintage brooch for my birthday (well, in truth I've bought it, he just needs to sign the card) so that's a good start I feel. Love your blog.

    1. You're right. She used to dress in all manner of dramatic fashions. I remember my friend who took a course from MA at the University of Alberta said that Margaret would swirl into class in a long cape.

  11. Your hats are gorgeous, perfect for you. And moving from the sublime to the ridiculous I love the selfies in shades. I imagine it would have been very amusing for anyone watching you. Iris

  12. Hello Susan! Lovely to meet you.I popped across from Passion For Fashion lured by your gorgeous, gorgeous hat!!!! It us truly beautiful!!! I adore vintage hats, well, hats in any form!!! this one is sensational AND the bargain beret with bakelite brooch!!! You're right, Bakelite is expensive and hard to get nowadays!
    It is lovely to meet you and I will try to remember to pop over when I'm on my computer as I find it hard to find follow buttons on a phone but you seem.my kind of person AND I want to see more of these brooches!!! I've been trying to wear mine more and sharing on my blog too!!!xxx

    1. Thanks, Arlene. My new ap is "layout." I tried it originall with Instagram, and am now using it for other things. Learning new things is such fun… when there's no test… or marking!

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